By James L. Stroud, Jr.
Continuing MSR’s interview with Dr. Tim Childs of TLC Precision Wafer Technology, Inc., we talk with him about his recent visit to the White House in Washington, D.C. and his conversation with President Obama and staff.
Although Dr. Tim Childs has recently come to the attention of the Obama administration, President Obama is a “president-come-lately” as it relates to Dr. Childs and his work in education, science and technology. The last three sitting U.S. presidents — Bill Clinton, George Bush and George W. Bush — know of his work, and all three have acknowledged Dr. Childs for his contributions.
However, it was Dr. Childs’ (TC) one-on-one conversation with President Obama that confirmed their mutual conviction that educating young people for the future is good for the future of businesses, which in turn is good for the economy.
MSR: What else did you talk about during your time with the president?
TC: I first met with President Obama’s staff for about two hours and then [had] some one-on-one time with the president. One thing that came across very clear [is that] the president wants to work through community leaders to connect with the people around the country directly. They have structured a plan that they call “Winning the Future.”
[The White House webpage describes the plan called “Winning the Future” as follows: “To win the future, we have to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world, tapping the creativity and imagination of our people. We have to take responsibility for our deficit, by investing in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn’t. And we have to reform our government so that it’s smarter, leaner, and better able to take on the challenges of the 21st century.”]
MSR: So that means you are like the White House point person/coordinator for Minnesota?
TC: Exactly. We will host and coordinate a series of town hall meetings in the community. The White House will make sure people know about all of the underused programs that benefit organizations and individuals.
MSR: How soon will some of these meetings happen?
TC: Very soon. I’ll keep you posted as we roll them out. The White House wants the nation to know about these programs and utilize them.
MSR: Did you talk with President Obama about the TLC Education Foundation? [TLC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to “expand and enhance education opportunities by involving communities, businesses, organizations, and individuals in the support of students who demonstrate the capability and desire, but with limited means of achieving their higher education goals,” according to the foundation’s website.]
TC: Yes, I did. I shared some of our success in spite of being under-funded. I have yet to see a student that is unable to learn. We have students that started out at the bottom of the class and went up on the honor roll. We have students that weren’t thinking about college go to excelling in college. We even had a student classified as “special ed.” and he went to the top of his class. [Dr. Childs also believes that the African American achievement gap can and will be closed.]
MSR: Tell us what the future holds as far as technology is concerned.
TC: The possibilities are endless. For example, I just met with a group of automakers about coming up with a way to help them to successfully deliver a wireless automobile.
MSR: You mean a Wi-Fi car or a wireless robot on wheels?
TC: Yes, a wireless robot on wheels for the most part.
MSR: Wow! So would you agree that as of today The Jetsons cartoon show is now The Flintstones?
TC: [chuckling] Yes, I would agree with that.
MSR: Do you think we need a new cartoon to represent the future now?
TC: [laughing] We definitely need a new cartoon now.
According to Dr. Childs, President Obama’s “Winning the Future” plan is a combination of information that can be easily accessed via five different websites:
Change the Equation (www.changetheequation.org) — Change the Equation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan CEO-led initiative to solve America’s innovation problem. It answers the call of President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate Campaign” to move the U.S. to the top of the pack in science and math education over the next decade. It aims to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for every child, with a particular focus on girls and students of color, who have long been underrepresented in STEM fields.
Start Up America (www.whitehouse.gov/issues/startup-america) — Startup America is the White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.
Joining Forces (www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforc es) — Joining Forces is all about coming together to support our nation’s military families.
Skills for America’s Future (www.aspeninstitute.org) — Skills for America’s Future brings together government, the private sector, community colleges, and labor to develop skilled workers.
Let’s Move (www.lets move.gov) — Let’s Move is designed to assist Americans in raising a healthier generation of children.
For more information about TLC Precision Wafer Technology, Inc or the TLC Education Foundation, go to TLCprecision.com and www.tlcedfoundation.org.
James L. Stroud welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.